Sizzling online saga gets bigger, juicier

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, October 15, 2010
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More than 36 million hits, over 91 thousand responses over 890 web pages, the most popular name in search engines during the entire seven-day October holiday, Xiao Yueyue, and her startling personal details, have once again demonstrated that quaint, dark secrets have takers in the online community of any culture.

Writer of the post on Xiao Yueyue's unusual social behavior, Rong Rong has not just been able to draw in a mammoth response to the lurid details but has gone a step further by keeping the story untold, half-way. The urge to know what happened next in Yueyue's bizarre saga has kept up the intensity of the online searches.

How Yueyue shed off her clothes in an unknown hotel room in Shanghai with Rong Rong and a young man named Xiao W around, was hot, pot-boiler stuff that few could ignore.

Lu Xiaowen, deputy director of the Institute of Sociology, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that people who follow the story so passionately may see some part of themselves in the role of Yueyue.

"Every one has a bright side and a dark side to his or her personality. People who try hard to keep the dark side tendencies under wrap in real life may feel released when reading Yueyue's story online," Lu said. "Thus in the virtual world, the more bizarre, ugly or disgusting the case is, the more likely it will attract the public's attention."

For seven consecutive days, readers online flocked to the posts on Yueyue and devoured the so-called "escapades of Yueyue" that Rong Rong let the world know. The original post titled as "Thanks to Such a Shocking Friend for Giving Me Such a Tragic National Day Holiday" on Tianya, was picked up by a bunch of online media, blog writers and online forums on the second day it was out. It also circulated on Sina Microblog, Mop, Renren, Baidu Baike and Douban.

As of today the key word "Xiao Yueyue" is the most frequent word web users type in the Baidu search engine, one of the top search engines in China. Netizens who are awed by Yueyue's unbelievable behaviors have even formed a virtual organization called "Worship Yue God Religion" on the Internet.

If one goes by the post, Yueyue, a female visitor in Shanghai on October 3 indulged in a series of wayward and stupefying behavior. After Yueyue took off her clothes before her friends in a hotel room she began to eat banana peels saying they help lose weight.

Though "xiao" means little in Chinese, her weight, according to Rong Rong's post, is over 80 kilograms. Her story gets weirder when the three step out to tour Shanghai.

According to the post, Yueyue bought a bag of sexy bras and under wears in a supermarket near the hotel, and cried out loud in the store to the author that she would cut a hole in the purple underwear to make it sexier. Rong Rong stated she could not keep these odd happenings to herself and so posted them online.

This was just the beginning of this bizarre tale with unbelievable twists and turns. Yueyue became more and more appalling as the posts began to show up online. The story has not been concluded yet, however, it has attracted a huge number of people following and commenting on it.

Wei Wuhui, an expert in Internet communications from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, told the Global Times that Xiao Yueyue would not have been so popular had the writer put the entire story online in the first instance itself.

"The fact that the writer has not completed the story leaves time for her to respond to web users. And the interactions between the author and the reader attracts more viewers to this story," Wei said.

Huang Hui, professor of mass communications from Tongji University doubts that the whole case is just be a hoax initiated by a publicity team from the website.

"When Sister Furong got popular because of her unusual confidence in her figure in 2004, people realized that it is a good way to get popular by behaving differently. After that, more people who do not possess the quality to be a social celebrity opt to use the method to get known to the public," Huang said.

However, according to an online survey launched by Tianya, the majority do not care about the truth. About 76 percent of the 17,285 people who joined in the survey until last Sunday evening said they do not care if this tale is real or not; they were simply looking for some fun and that these posts helped some of them to stay away from boredom during the long holiday.

However, all the three professors interviewed by the Global Times believed that the Xiao Yueyue fever would not last long because web users change their points of interest fast. "Just like Brother Sharp or Sister Feng, Yueyue too will soon be forgotten by netizens," Lu said.

Meanwhile, one enthusiastic follower of Yueyue's saga has even produced a series of comics based on postings, and the comics too became instant craze among the viewers. Author Rong Rong is surprised that the comics came out so fast and that there came up even an explanation of the word "Xiao Yueyue" on the web encyclopedia, Baidu Baike, soon after the post was released.

According to Rong Rong, Yueyue was her high school classmate back in their home town in Wuhu, Anhui Province. The two had never met or contacted each other after their graduation. Rong Rong now works and lives in Shanghai. However, their mothers being old friends, Rong Rong's mother asked her daughter to take care of Yueyue during the holiday, and show her and another young man called Xiao W presumably Yueyue's boy friend around Shanghai.

What started off as an interesting sightseeing plan for Rong Rong is turning out to be shocking pages of crazy social behavior. Rong Rong continues to reveal and the story goes on.

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